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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2006 4:39 pm 
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okay so i have to do a 10 minute presentation in about a week and a half. i'm in the ib program and i'm a junior, (so if your in ib you know what i'm talking about, those stupid oral presentations that count for 30 percent of your ib english grade blahh). for my topic i chose to do how the great gatsby resembles a greek tragedy with jay gatsby being the tragic hero. i need ALOT of help with this. I am horrible with this kinda stuff. I am a very math/science based person and this kinda stuff does NOT come easy to me. i would VERRRY much appreciate it if i could get some help on this. my email is roxysurfgirl916@hotmail.com or you can post on here, either way is fine.

please please if you are skilled in the english/literature/interpretation of works area and you have read the great gatsby i would very much appreciate it. like i said this counts for 15% of my junior ib english grade (the other 15% is for senior year)
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Thesis: Despite its modern setting, The Great Gatsby strongly resembles a Greek tragedy. Jay Gatsby, of course serves to be the tragic hero who is brought down by his own malignant flaw
Major Questions/Areas of Discussion
how can you compare the great gatsby as a modern day greek tragedy?
what are the requirements for a greek tragedy and how does the great gatsby fit into that criteria?
how does gatsby recognize in the end his flawed nature by his inability to distinguish between reality and fantasy?
how can you connect gatsby's death as a direct result of a tragic flaw?
what would, in your opinion, be gatsby's flaw?

^if you can answer even just one of those questions, you'd be a big help. even if you haven't read the great gatsby i would still appreciate any information on recognizing a greek tragedy and what the major qualifications for one are.


p.s. sorry if this isn't the right place, i'm new to the board


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 7:39 pm 
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It's been a while since I read Gatsby, but here goes.

Gatsby's flaw was that he persued a dream which was unobtainable and which was not worthy of his persuit even if he'd gotten it.

I'm talking about that girl he was in love with. If I recall, she was self-centered and did not love him. Yet, Gatsby did everthing to try to win her.

This is a common theme in literature. Elsewhere in this forum I started a column about "The Caine Mutiny". In the book, Capt Queeg wanted to be the ship captain, buy he overreached himself. He couldn't handle it. A subplot in the book was Ensign Keefer's endless and hopeless persuit of a girl who preferred her singing career to being married to Keefer. This subplot was not in the Humphrey Bogart movie, but it paralleld the theme of Queeg's overreaching himself.

In Joseph Conrad's short novel, "Heart of Darkness", on which was loosely based the Marlon Brando movie, "Apocolapse Now", Kurtz is an ivory trader who goes deep into Africa to get ivory for his company. He is full of noble ideas about civilizing the natives, but the savagery of the region ultimately turns him into a savage too. His goal had been to become weathy and important in the company so that he could marry a girlfriend back in London. Marlowe, who goes up the river just in time to see Kurtz die later goes to see that London girlfriend. She weeps a lot for Kurtz and says she loved him, but we sense that's not true. Then she asked what were Kurtz's last words. Did he speak about her? Marlowe lies and says Kurtz' last word was her name.
Not true. Kurtz's last words were, "The horror! The horror!" He said nothing about the girl or anything else. His persuit of an unreachable and unworthy dream had destroyed him.

I think Gatsby's death was an outward sign that he had finally realized his persuit of the girl was a waste of his life.


The Greek tradgedy thing:
Homer's "The Iliad" was about the Trojan War. Helen of Troy was the wife of a Greek king. She is kidnapped and taken to Troy to be the wife of the Trojan Prince. All the Greeks get together and fight Troy for nine years to get Helen back. Many fine men such as Achilles are killed in this war. Was Helen worth it? Probably not.

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Last edited by joan_of_arc_friend on Fri Dec 01, 2006 7:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:22 pm 
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Hey, Elizabeth, did you get my buddy's e-mail? He's obessed with Gatsby so I thought he'd know more than anyone.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 1:12 pm 
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Quote:
Despite its modern setting, The Great Gatsby strongly resembles a Greek tragedy.



:?: :?: :?: really, why ?

Quote:
Homer's "The Iliad" was about the Trojan War. Helen of Troy was the wife of a Greek king. She is kidnapped and taken to Troy to be the wife of the Trojan Prince. All the Greeks get together and fight Troy for nine years to get Helen back. Many fine men such as Achilles are killed in this war. Was Helen worth it? Probably not.


the woman at great gatsby was only interesting the money and his status. the "tragedy" ? :roll: he made money to gain that woman, the money gave him so called social status between hungry dogs. i dont believe that gatsby cared of neither money, nor people's admiration. he cared only her opinions. so, what he wanted was having been "loved" by her. he wanted to show her he worths to be admired/to be respected and to be loved just like other men that she prefered before in place of him.

in my opinion, his wish was normal , but he was wrong about runing after a woman who only cares -money, social status, physicall appearance-etc. he tried to gain her by using those materials because the woman was crazy for them, but according to gatsby his love was over everything he has that is why he became furious to make money for years --just because of her.

we have the same problems today too. a large number of people prefer to show how much they can pay for their lovers. yet, a pair of loving eyes can know that a piece of paper from lover's hands is invaluable. maybe it is a matter of supply and demand, i dont know. for example, they BUY things to show how thoughtfull and romantic but they find ridiculous what they took great pains with creating a little poem, a small drawing, or anything..

of course, there a number of reasons why those people think like that. i will just write one of them about mass culture (popular culture) now. (there is more information here :http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mass_culture#Criticisms_of_popular_culture) what i want to say is this system depends on profits, so they want you to consume. if i advertise, encourage and provoke you to have *newer* things, you will acccord with them because you will fear of being left out by others. of course i do NOT say that i am againist to new dicoveries, innovations and technology anymore, but i critisize the logic of some people like gatsby's lover. i am talking related with the gift subject- ^ above, the people who think it is imposible to feel happy with a cup of tea prepared by a loved one, a hand made doll, or more personal things, a little kiss, a letter from heart, etc. or nothing in this world can pay the worth of someone who stays up for nights just for 30 minutes with his/her lover. even though having had a big wealth, gatsby suffers because of this reason. gatsby spent his years to satisfy and gain the admiration and love and it was a wrong way but the only way for the sake of a wrong woman. his ambitious was his love, but the love of the woman was the ambition of his money and so called social status.

if gatsby were my friend, probably i would say him to forget that sort of woman and to find someoen who deserves himself. if we think in today's conditions for a moment, i think, it was difficult for them to be happy *together*. probably that woman would always like to buy things, go shopping, go to clubs, pubs, consume, consume, consume and she will be happy gatsby to accompany to her like a slave-guardian who is saying nice words everyday.

first of all, i never want gatsby to be in that situation.
moreover, gatsby is a romantic person. he lives for his heart. as far as i know, *being together* is beyond these, or am i wrong ?
that man wants to be loved, to be cared for, to be respected just because he is *he*.

people can lose their money, their social status, their health, their beauty in one day -there can be an earthquake and you can lose your home, your legs, maybe your eyes or you can be become a bankrupt, you can be thrown away from work, etc.. and that woman might exchange this man with the most brilliant stone jsut like she did before.
why doesnt gatsby see that ? if he sees this, why doesnt he mind it ? or does he mind ?

unfortunately, most of the people that i met tend to get rid of their partners at those kind of situations. or find a 2nd or 3rd partners.
yes, "to get rid of" is a great verb to describe it.
finding and being in love with someone who can be near us at any condition of life is as difficult as being a lover who will not sell the partner at any condition of life.

so if we dont realize who we are(in sense of our personal worth) and if we dont realize who we are with, our end might be like gatsby's at either choice.

anyway.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 03, 2006 6:06 pm 
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For the female's viewpoint of this theme,

the indispensable book is "Anna Karenina", by Tolstoy.

Hint: the book is long and more than half of it is about the character called Levin, who was a kind of autobiograpical stand-in for Tolstoy.
Levin became involved in all the social issues of the day which interested Tolstoy. Skip the Levin stuff. You won't miss much.

Anna marries young to a man twenty years older than herself. It doesn't work. Anna is in a loveless marriage.
She bears this with dignity for many years, but finally she starts to come apart. Will she pull herself together?

The trains are Tolstoy's symbol of the flow of life, just as was the Mississppii River for Mark Twain, and the ocean for Herman Melville ( Moby Dick ). The first and last time we see Anna in the book she is on a train.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 2:00 am 
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joan_of_arc_friend wrote:
For the female's viewpoint of this theme,

the indispensable book is "Anna Karenina", by Tolstoy.

Hint: the book is long and more than half of it is about the character called Levin, who was a kind of autobiograpical stand-in for Tolstoy.
Levin became involved in all the social issues of the day which interested Tolstoy. Skip the Levin stuff. You won't miss much.

Anna marries young to a man twenty years older than herself. It doesn't work. Anna is in a loveless marriage.
She bears this with dignity for many years, but finally she starts to come apart. Will she pull herself together?

The trains are Tolstoy's symbol of the flow of life, just as was the Mississppii River for Mark Twain, and the ocean for Herman Melville ( Moby Dick ). The first and last time we see Anna in the book she is on a train.


so where is the relation with gatsby's story ? :roll:


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 7:35 am 
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"so where is the relation with gatsby's story ? "

Gatsby persued a love unworthy of him and which he couldn't have.

Anna persued a love unworthy of her and which she couldn't have.

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"I am not afraid... I was born to do this"

"Help yourself. God will help you" ( Aide toi. Dieu t'aidera. )

--- Joan of Arc


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2006 8:13 am 
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ok. i didnt read that book, that is why i asked.


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PostPosted: Fri Dec 08, 2006 9:55 pm 
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Tolstoy was trying to make a point about human beings in general, that is, about the consequences of devoting your life to the wrong goal. He found using a female's search for a more meaningful lover very useful. Anna leaves her husband for another man. A modern writer would make a soap opera of this, but Tolstoy reveals Anna's thoughts in great detail, ( and the thoughts of all the other main characters ). It is sad but interesting to see the deterioration in Anna's psyche.


It has been said that this book is the most penetrating insight into the female mind ever written. Probably true, but we should not take it as criticism of the female; the men in Anna's life are pretty sad cases. Anna begins as by far the most noble and talented of any of these characters. We must keep in mind Tolstoy's main purpose.

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"Help yourself. God will help you" ( Aide toi. Dieu t'aidera. )

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 6:00 am 
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Every since we had to read "The Odyssey" I've gone =P to greek 'heroes tales' . I hate my English teacher. She's a ditz. She constantly gives us busy work. Grades on a screwed up scale and not how it's supposed to be done for 9th grade IB English. She near failed half the class, and only gave us 45 $%#*ING MINUTES TO WRITE AN ESSAY on whether or not Odysseus was a hero. My arm cramped up from writing that d*mned essay. I was on over-drive afterwards, nearly bouncing off the walls. I had to move for the entierty of the next period (another 45 min) to wera off most of the after-burner effect. It's a good thing we had a sub that day. My spanish teacher would have killed me.


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I'm good now. I'm done ranting. Have a nice day. :mrgreen: lol

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 27, 2007 8:50 pm 
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Technically the last time we see Anna she is somewhat under a train...

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PostPosted: Fri Jul 06, 2007 9:46 pm 
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Okay, Let's see what I remember from the beginning of my English class. The requirements for a Greek Tragedy is that the hero has one single flaw that is his downfall. Often it will be an ironic flaw. Of some sort.

As discussed before, Jay Gatsby's flaw is that he is in love with a girl and pursues her, even though he knows it will never work. This leads to his downfall because Tom, the husband of Daisy, tells Wilson (who is angry about HIS wife's death, Myrtle) where to find Gatsby.

The irony is that Tom, who wanted Gatsby dead because of his love with Daisy, was cheating on Daisy with Myrtle. So it appeared that Tom didn't love Daisy, but was married to her, and Gatsby loved Daisy with all his being, but could never be with her.

Let's see, I've covered Gatsby's Flaw, and connected it (hopefully) with his death, and i (tried to) showed how his death fit the Greek Tragedy.

In the end, Gatsby realizes (while waiting outside Daisy's house in a bright pink outfit) that Daisy will never actually love him. He realizes that his flaw is chasing this girl to the ends of the earth, because she won't leave Tom. (Even after he basically saved her by telling them HE was driving the car).

So I hope that clears things up. Do with it what you will. These are all just my opinions.


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